6 Online Training Mistakes eLearning Professionals Should Avoid
Corporate training is not usually considered to be fun and exciting. In fact, most employees would rather sit in traffic or babysit a bunch of unruly grade schoolers instead of participating in an online training session. What does this mean for eLearning professionals? Simply put, the odds are already stacked against you. Your corporate audience is already reluctant and distracted, even before they step one foot into the virtual training room. However, you do have the power to turn the tides and make your corporate learners willing participants in the online training process. All that it takes is steering clear of these 6 maddening mistakes.
- Thinking that all employees have the same needs, goals, and preferences.
Creating “generic” online training courses that don’t center on your audience’s needs can drastically reduce the value of your online training course. Every corporate learner must feel as if the online training course was intended for them to some extent, regardless of their background or previous experience. This also includes removing the generational gap from your online training experiences, so that every individual has the opportunity to benefit from the online training course. Customizing your online training program requires that you determine which alternative content delivery system is best for your corporate audience, such as multimedia presentations or Podcasts, and figuring out their personal needs and goals. What do they need to get out of the online training experience and how can you provide it to them most effectively?
- Failing to put theory into practice.
Learning something is one thing, but being able to put what you’ve learned into practice is quite another. Your corporate learners must have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in skills within the online training course, courtesy of online scenarios, simulations, eLearning games, and other real-world based online activities. If you stress the real world benefits and applications of the subject matter, your corporate learners will also be more motivated to participate. This is primarily due to the fact that they have a clear idea of how the information will improve their lives outside of the virtual training environment. Providing them with an abundance of theories or ideologies can help them pass an online test, but it cannot equip them with the tools they need to succeed in the real world.
- Overwhelming them with too much information.
Employees want to receive vital information and then move on with the rest of their lives. Thus, there is nothing more frustrating than having to sit through a half-hour online training course just to collect the tidbit of knowledge they need on-the-job. This same principle applies to cramming too much information into a single online training course, even if all of the subject matter is essential. Longer online training courses should be broken down into smaller modules or lessons to avoid cognitive overwhelm. For example, a one-hour compliance online training course can be transformed into 6 ten-minute modules that cover a different aspect of the topic.
- It lacks any form of entertainment or excitement.
Corporate training is not usually synonymous with fun and excitement. This is what makes employees dread their next online training session. However, you have the power to put the enjoyment back into the online training experience by boosting the entertainment value. For example, you can add in eLearning videos, background music, and serious games to grab their attention and actually make the online training course more engaging. Rather than creating a dry and dull compliance online training course that bores them to tears, surprise them by offering an exciting, enlightening, and humorous online training experience that drives them to reach their potential.
- Leadership is misinformed or ill-equipped for online training.
Your leadership team must have the online tools and knowledge they need to provide the best possible online training experience. This includes management, trainers, and any others who offer guidance or mentorship to your employees. There are few things worse than sitting through an online training session when it’s obvious that the facilitator does not have any experience or knowledge with the subject. This is why it’s essential to equip your leadership with all the information and skills they require beforehand. You may even want to hold an online workshop or online training course that gives them the chance to explore the topic in depth, especially if they are not familiar with the online training platform or tech tools you’ll be using.
- Showing them the finish line, but not including any road signs.
Every online training course should have clear goals and objectives that your employees must achieve. However, you cannot expect your corporate learners to reach this finish line if you don’t lead the way. If the learning objective is very complicated, then you may want to think about breaking it down into smaller milestones. You must also provide them with all the tools, technologies, and online activities they need to reach their ultimate goals. Having to stumble their way through and figure out the key pieces of information on their own will only cause confusion and frustration. Therefore, it is wise to give them road signs along the way that point them in the right direction. Corporate learners who excel can always rely on supplemental online training resources, such as links to online articles and videos, to expand their comprehension even further.
If you want your online training to be effective and informative, then you need to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. Use these 6 tips to create a cohesive and organized vision for your online training program, so that your employees are ready and willing to participate in the process.
Want to learn more about how to improve the impact that your online training course may have on your employees? Read the article 7 Success Factors To Win The Bet With Overwhelmed Corporate Learners to discover how to design effective online training experiences for overwhelmed corporate learners, so that they can acquire the skills they need to improve work performance.